Beth Hart: Better Than Home (Provogue/Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

Beth Hart: Might As Well Smile
Beth Hart: Better Than Home (Provogue/Warners)

Hart may have a troubled soul – junk, booze and family matters all took their toll – but at her extraordinary Powerstation show last month she proved a good-humoured survivor with powerful stories to tell, and an exceptional voice to convey the hurts, optimism and energy required to pull herself through.

And here across 11 originals she drops personae and dives into her autobiography for a soul-baring collection which -- in songs like the gospel-influenced ballad Tell 'Em To Hold On and the cheeky, unapologetic feminine-power rocker Trouble – offer affirmation to others.

The woman who has the raw nerve abrasiveness of Janis Joplin here also delivers classic sounding soul (the outstanding Tell Her You Belong To Me to her estranged father), restrained ballads (the title track) and dark narratives (the multilayered St Teresa about a condemned man's last wishes).

Most of these songs can be read on different levels too because from the personal she pulls universal truths.

If the orchestrated We're Still Living in the City sounds like an Eighties movie theme it has enough early, battered Tom Waits about it to suggest it'd be a film you'd want to see.

Quite a woman, quite an album. The most powerful and personal of her career.

For more on Beth Hart including an interview start here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

Magic Arm: Make Lists Do Something (Switchflicker/Yellow Eye)

This techno-pop, Pro Tools-folktronic album by Manchester's one-man band Marc Rigelsford finally gets belated local release (it appeared in the UK a year ago). But it's timely with the Band on... > Read more

Lee Hazlewood: The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides 1968-71 (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

Lee Hazlewood: The LHI Years; Singles, Nudes and Backsides 1968-71 (Light in the Attic/Southbound)

Although Lee Hazlewood (who died in 2007 age 78) enjoys a considerable cult reputation, it rests on two slender, if notable, styles; like Johnny Cash back from the 40 days in the wilderness with a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Ray Columbus seldom rang me at the Herald unless he had something to say. I liked him for that, he wasn't a time waster. But once he called and said he had an American friend in town that I might... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; On the Beach

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; On the Beach

It always gives Elsewhere special pleasure when one of our Essential Elsewhere albums turns up going cheap, and possibly never more so than in the case of this Neil Young album from '74. The... > Read more